Do you still date your spouse? Today we will see how to date your spouse right. You read that right! Do’s and don’ts or rules to put the fun back in date night.
For many of us, after marriage comes responsibilities and burdens. Those leave less time but then then children come into the picture and dating goes out the window.
Why do we stop dating our spouses and having fun together? Today as we focus on hope for marriage we will hear from Michelle Nietert, MA, LPC-S who will help us learn two important things:
- What is date night for married couples?
- How can you do it right, have fun, and build a strong marriage foundation?
What Does It Mean To Date Your Spouse?
Most marriage counselors require you to commit to date nights when you start marriage counseling. The question comes up repeatedly ‘What does it mean to date your spouse or What is date night for married couples?’
I am astounded to this day as we continuously need to explain how to date your spouse. What occurs during a date? What does dating in marriage look like?
These are real questions I answer in our office (I am Michelle Nietert, MA, LPC-S, a professional counselor and life coach).
Our busy, often distracted culture seems to have forgotten how important the practice of dating is.
So let’s answer some of the most Frequently asked questions regarding date night in marriage.
Are Date Nights Important in Marriage?
The answer to the question ‘Are date nights important in marriage?’ is yes.
The importance of date night for married couples can not be stressed enough.
What are the benefits of dating your spouse? Dating – having fun together as a couple- is an investment in the marital glue to hold the relationship together keeping it strong, connected and also fun!
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What Do Couples Do On a Date Night?
Really, what you wonder is how to date your spouse again, because you once dated your then-fiance.
This question needs to be answered in three parts. Because understanding what a date night is for married couples starts with “What a date night is NOT for married couples”.
That’s right, let’s lay some ground rules to get you on the road to a fun date night instead of a fight night.
What Not to do on a date night:
- Remember what you did before you were married to have fun together.
- Think about the quality time from your first date.
- Make a plan to have regular date nights!
- What fun activities do you both enjoy?
- What new experiences are you both interested in?
- Search creative date ideas or fun activities for a healthy marriage and pick some together.
These are NOT what couples do on a date night
Before I share how to plan a romantic date with your husband or wife, you need to know what NOT to do. While you should always date your spouse, you should date them well.
What is the date rule in marriage or rules for dating in marriage?
- No children.
- This is not for marriage counseling.
- No planning or scheduling.
- Not a group event.
1. Date night is NOT A Child Included Activity
We’ve actually had people ask if they bring the baby or a child and put them on an electronic during date night.
The answer is No!
It’s good for your kids to miss you and you them.
Leave them with a babysitter, or family member or swap with another family so you both can enjoy time away.
Parents can often struggle with an anxiety disorder or unhealthy separation anxiety.
If you aren’t able to leave your children for a few hours with a trustworthy person – you may consider this as it is a common concern when couples ask “What is date night for married couples?”
Maybe start small by planning a date night at home. Learning how to date your husband at home can be a a great way to start, especially if childcare is a struggle!
2. Date night is NOT Marriage Counseling
When thinking about how to date your spouse, remember the top prioritiy should be fun. Date night is not a place to work through problems and discuss difficult topics. Even if you are separated and working through a program to reconcile, make this fun.
Save that for a separate meeting where you have pen and paper on hand and can bring you calmest self.
Are there issues that continuously blow up before even working on them?
Pray through them. That will connect you to the spirit. The Spirit can help you embrace the fruit of self-control or pick up some emotional self-regulation tools.
Often the topic isn’t the problem in the first place. Our approach to the problem is the problem. In fact, we have a different article for how to date your spouse during a separation – read that here ~> Is There Hope for My Marriage After Separation? Hope for the Separated from My Story.
Be sure to follow the Entire Series on the Hope For Marriage Event Page.
3. Married Couples Date Night is NOT A Family Planning Session
Leave the kid problems, chore divisions, and calendars at home and off the agenda, please.
Remember, when learning how to date your spouse, this is about fun. Family planning is important so be sure to set a date on the calendar to talk through all those things as well… just not date night!
The top priority here is having fun and connecting to nourish a healthy relationship. Regulare dates do this, as long as you have a good time and resist strategizing your busy schedules. Make it a special time!
4. Date Night is NOT A Regular Group Outing
We often find that couples avoid each other through double dates. It is fine to occasionally double date, but don’t make a regular practice of it.
On a double date, people spend money but really have fun with someone besides their spouse.
When you do make plans with another couple, drive separately (not with that other couple) to and from the destination. Intentionally sit together, hold hands, or snuggle up a little.
Double dating on a regular basis does not nourish the happy marriage you desire. You leave so little time to connect. So make time with other couples, but not as your date night.
How Do You Fall Back In Love With Your Husband?
When we address date night they start with ‘How do you date your spouse?’ but soon bring up other questions. The question comes up often ‘How do you fall back in love with your husband?’
For Regular Date Night Ideas, Remember The First Time
Before you shared a living room or played board games to cultivate a fun family life, you enjoyed alone time with your beloved.
Married life comes with so many new things that are important but sap the fun and joy out of our relationship.
It is important to remember the past. Look back at how date night used to be. When you were first together and you planned to go on a date what did you do?
- Your best self showed up.
- You were well-groomed.
- Excitement filled you up.
I truly believe you are called to bring this person when you date your spouse as often as you can. That doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money on a fancy dinner or tickets (especially if there are money issues in marriage) or that you can’t dress comfortably.
You just bring your best self to your most important relationship.
I’ve learned that our appearance does affect our mood and often our behaviors.
When we know we look our best, most of us feel fantastic – especially women.
A Challenge To Think Back
It’s not enough to find a romantic evening idea. We have to put special effort into our weekly date night.
Where were the first things you would do to prepare to date in the early days?
I challenge you to put on that outfit you feel beautiful in. Spray on that glamorous scent (unless someone has allergies) and show up feeling attractive. And dare I say it? Sexy. – can we talk about Sex in a Christian Marriage?
In 1 Corinthians 10:31, Scripture calls us “…whether we eat or drink…” to “do it all for the glory of God” (NIV).
I truly believe dating is no exception. If you are a person of faith, I encourage you to ask, “How could God be glorified in our dating life?”
- Step out of your comfort zone and dress stunningly.
- Write love letters to each other.
- Think about how the local park or botanical garden used to be romantic.
- Make reservations at your favorite restaurant and set the mood for something romantic.
What would the younger you have thought was a good idea for a special occasion with your sweetheart?
Spend as much time as you need thinking through that to find creative date night dieas that rekindle that sweet feeling of love and cherishing.
How To Date Your Spouse
Dating your spouse is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3!
That’s right, date night does not have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, the more simple date night is the more likely you will make it a regular part of your routine.
Date night is a perfect way to speak your spouse’s love language. It is in the little things and it’s not always common sense. The best date nights are not always romantic date ideas come to life. More often they are the result of listening to what your partner desires.
Maybe they always dreamed of dance lessons or have a list of overnight dates that sound relaxing. The key is spending time, fee time (not remote work time or social media time) alone. One-on-one time with no distractions does more for a romantic relationship than so many well-planned creative date night ideas.
I issue you this date your spouse challenge. Follow these 3 steps and write back if you don’t want to keep adding date night to the calendar!
1. Date Night is A Romantic Encounter
Yes, date night should be a romantic encounter between two people designed to increase attraction, intimacy, and closeness.
One of my favorite ways to describe intimacy is, ‘Into Me See’.
Dating allows us the chance to go beyond discussing the mundane details of our lives.
We can share our heart desires, dreams, passions, and interests.
Need help getting started?
- These are some great date night topics for married couples.
- Talk about ideas for a romantic date with husband and wife and keep the list handy.
- Search out hot date ideas for married couples and make a list that sounds good to both of you.
Often, child-rearing, parent caregiving, or anything can overtake your personal development.
You just get too overwhelmed or exhausted to keep growing.
If that’s happened to you, take the time to address that and admit it to your spouse.
Our center always includes an individual component in couples counseling because we know two strong “I’s” make a strong “we.”
You will love these 10 ways to be more passionate in your marriage today!
And I highly recommend Boundaries in Marriage training by John Townsend and Henry Cloud.
2. Date Night is Fun!!
At least it should be.
Dating should not be an obligation. It should be a chance for two people to let loose, and do what they love.
For the sheer pleasure of bonding and memory-making, experience something new together. Keep a list of romantic things to do with your husband so you aren’t scrambling for ideas last minute.
Google activities for ‘married couples to do together near me’ or ‘date your spouse ideas at home’ to get you started if you are out of the habit of having fun 😉 .
3. Date Night is A Regularly Schedule Event
How often should you date your spouse? Regularly!
Let me rephrase that. Date night should be a regularly scheduled event between a husband and a wife.
Yes, it would be great if this could happen spontaneously but in an over-scheduled world, what we don’t make a priority on calendars, rarely occurs.
My husband and I intentionally plan dates at least two times a month and try and add a third one into the mix.
When we get a couple in our offices who haven’t been on a date in months and ask ‘How to date your wife again’, we know there is a problem with priorities.
There are usually problems bonding. Or someone isn’t sharing their true self and often avoiding a difficult marriage or spouse.
Are You Struggling to Bond With Your Spouse? A Challenge
Proverbs 5:18 reminds us “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.” (NIV)
Now we weren’t very young when we took the plunge (we were in our 30’s) but I believe this scripture implies a blessing that occurs when we rejoice in our spouses.
Are there bonding issues in your marriage? Are you having trouble rejoicing in them?
I encourage you for the next 30 days to write down 3 distinct things you enjoy and appreciate about your spouse.
Need Help getting started? Check out these 30 prompts of words of affirmation.
Maybe start small by planning a date night at home. Learning how to date your husband at home can be a great starting place especially if childcare is a struggle!
Regular Date Night Ideas: From Tiffany
I can’t give you a limitless list of date night ideas, because your spouse will have specific tastes. I have found that the best date ideas come when we make plans together.
Some of our best cheap date ideas came from making a date to plan dates. In our free time, we just added it to our to-do list. We keep a bucket list for ideas.
A new place we want to check out.
Intimate date ideas and ways to accomplish them with young kids.
At-home date ideas for when we can’t get a sitter.
How To Make the Most Of At-Home Date Ideas: Perspective
With young children and Special Needs Children in my life I have found there are seasons that an at-home date night is the only way to have regulare dates with your spouse.
Don’t get me wrong, I have great ideas for regulare dates with my Love, but life doesn’t always allow them in this season. Anybody else?
So we try for a weekly date night at home where the kids watch a movie somewhere else in the house (with specific instructions about not interrupting us unless someone needs to to the ER). He gets my undivided attention this way. I get a little while to just be a woman instead of a mom.
In another season, weekly dates outside of the home will happen, but for now, we settle for a monthly date night away from home.
This is all about perspective. Remember the main reasons for dating your spouse. Connect and have fun.
We can connect and have fun over dinner and card games.
Right now we are watching a sermon series on the Song of Solomon (Spicy Fun)!
When the kids are grown we will still have connected and will be ready to go out and have fun. For now, this is enough.
The most important thing is to make a plan, have fun date night ideas ready, and keep a good sense of humor as you find your way through each different season of life together.
How To Do Date Night Right: What is Date Night for Married Couples?
We started the article with a question. How do you date your spouse? We’ve answered how to date your wife or husband in 14 parts.
- Understand the importance of date night for married couples:
- Have fun and bond.
- Building a strong marriage foundation.
- Follow the rules of date night
- No children.
- This is not for marriage counseling.
- No planning or scheduling.
- Not a group event.
- Remember how you had fun in the past on date nights
- Do the DO’s of Date Night
- Be romantic.
- Have Fun.
- Put it on the calendar.
- Rejoice in your Spouse to help bonding troubles
Date night does not have to be complicated or expensive. I challenge you to pick one area to try this week.
Who knows? It just might lead to better dates, hot sex, and maybe a happier man and woman.
I’d love to hear your tips for great date nights and how you make time for your marriage relationship in the comments below.
Sharing these ideas helps all of us find more adventure. It encourages all of us to make dating a priority.
A professional counselor and life coach, Michelle Nietert, MA,LPC-S, has been speaking to audiences in the community, schools, and churches locally, nationally, and internationally for more than 20 years. She brings the same energetic, informative style to every opportunity, whether speaking to a small group or keynoting conferences of over 1,000 attendees.
As an owner of a large center in Dallas, Michelle‘s most requested topics combine mental health and faith. With a background as a state-ranked competitive speaker in high school, Michelle is passionate about equipping others to impact our world by sharing God‘s truth and inspiration in practical ways. She has also presented training on beginning your speaking ministry to writing groups both in person and virtually. Her audiences often remark on her passion for God’s word, laughter often in the midst of tears, and ability to share the joy she experiences daily.
Michelle has two children, ages 8 and 11, both of whom have begun competitive speaking in their local schools, with her daughter Sophia pursuing writing children’s books. She has been happily married to her husband Drew, who travels as a healthcare consultant, for over 15 years.
Michelle’s writing has been published nationally in Lifeway’s Parent Life magazine and on the MOPS blog. She is currently with the Blythe Daniel agency, and is scheduled to potentially publish two books in 2020.
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